Like Ghana, a bill to toughen the penalties for homosexuality in Senegal was tabled on Wednesday, December 22 by thirteen MPs. A decision that worries the LGBTQ + community, who is already experiencing heavy discrimination.
For months, several Senegalese MPs have been working with religious and civil society organizations to amend article 319 of the penal code to criminalize homosexuality and toughen sentences, which would increase from five to ten years in prison.
Now in the office of the President of the National Assembly, the bill still has to pass before a committee before being presented to the plenary assembly for a vote. The aim is “to fight against any perversion in the public space”.
“These people must respect the society in which they live and do what they want in private,” explains Moustapha Guirassy, deputy signing this text.
However, Souleymane Diouf, representative of the Free Senegal collective, defending the rights of homosexuals, is worried that the text plans to punish the apology for homosexuality “by any means of public dissemination or by funding any activities relating to the LGBT agenda ”.
This would target human rights defenders, according to the activist, who is anxious to see a decline in democracy and a rise in homophobia in the country.